cover image London Rain: A New Mystery Featuring Josephine Tey

London Rain: A New Mystery Featuring Josephine Tey

Nicola Upson. Harper/Bourbon Street, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-241815-9

The coronation of George VI in 1937 provides the backdrop for Upson’s psychologically complex and twisty sixth whodunit featuring real-life mystery writer Josephine Tey (after 2014’s The Death of Lucy Kyte). At BBC headquarters in London, where Josephine has come to view the rehearsals of a play of hers that has been adapted for radio and will air as part of the celebration, she happens to be present when Vivienne Beresford, a Radio Times editor, learns that her husband, Anthony, the BBC’s leading news announcer, is unfaithful. That revelation sets in motion a series of events that result in murder on the day of the coronation. That case, which is handled by Josephine’s close friend at Scotland Yard, Det. Chief Insp. Archie Penrose, seems to be open-and-shut, but that perception changes when a second corpse turns up. Upson adroitly confounds the reader’s expectations, and her subtle and emotionally intelligent exploration of Josephine’s relationship with her lover, Marta Hallard, adds depth. Agent: Gráinne Fox, Fletcher & Co. (Mar.)